Starting a business

How to start a business teaching sports and athletics classes for kids

Are you an athlete or coach with a passion for educating the next generation of sports stars? If so, you might have considered starting a business teaching sports and athletics to kids. But if you haven’t… why not? The coaching industry in the US alone is valued at over $9 billion — meaning there’s plenty of room to not only grow your career but generate income, too!

So whether you’re deciding if you want to run an after school sports program, or develop private coaching/lessons, we’ve laid out the steps you need to take to get started. Ready to go long? It all starts with your mission and business goals.

1. Put together your business plan!

Putting together a business plan can seem daunting at first, but you shouldn’t sweat it. In fact, it’s a lot like assembling a starting lineup — you’ll need to plan out the different pieces and playmakers that will lead to a successful formation. In general, business plans should follow templates. Use our guide for your business plan template.

Some of the pieces you should include are:

  • Executive summary: A simple summary of your business and its mission.
  • Company description: A longer description of your company and who and how you serve your community.
  • Market analysis: Research and findings focused on the demand for your business as well as competitors in your community and online. 
  • Organization and management: Explain who you employ, their role in your company, and who is responsible for what. If you don’t have employees yet, you can explain your many roles here.
  • Services and products you offer: This section is for considerations like what do you teach? Do you sell any products? What kind of content do you specialize in? 
  • Marketing and sales plan: Add details on how you plan to market your business here. You can evolve this section over time, but we suggest using it to organize your marketing efforts. 
  • Financial projections: This section is for considerations like: how much money did you save or borrow to start this business? How much money do you expect to make? 

It’s important to note that business plans aren’t set in stone. These can be organic documents that shift and evolve — especially as business needs change. However, putting together a plan like this can help you secure loans, outside investment, and keep you on a path to profitability.

2. Zero in on your focus

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to decide what you’ll be teaching. What are you passionate about? Maybe it’s teaching group lessons and watching a team succeed, or working one-on-one with an athlete to help them reach new heights. 

Just know, there’s no right answer. It’s all about personal preference and figuring out what and who you’re more comfortable working with. If soccer is your passion and you are wondering how to teach kids soccer, check out our guide!

3.  The who. The where. And the how.

Once you’ve determined what you’ll teach, it’s time to move into some of the other big questions.


Here are some common age groups for sports and athletic classes. 

  • Toddlers: Toddlers range from 1 year to 4 years of age. Toddler sports classes might consist of practicing balance, motor skills, and simple drills with a parent present. 
  • Children: Children range from 5 to 11. Teaching school-age children about sports at this age can help prep them for team sports in school. In addition to teaching them skills, it’s also great to instill principles of teamwork and practice — such skills can transfer over to a school environment too (which parents will love)!
  • Preteens and teens: This age group ranges from 12-17. Helping preteens and teens master sports will help them in school, and beyond!

How and where:

When it comes to starting sports and athletic classes for kids, it’s important to be well versed in the rules set by your local health department before determining how and where you will teach. 

  • In-person: In-person classes will require a physical space. Especially with sports and athletic classes, you’ll need room to run around and practice. Luckily, the very nature of these classes lends themselves to the outdoors, so practicing in parks, fields, and recs centers may work well for your needs.
  • Online: While online sports and athletics classes aren’t typically taught online, it’s not out of the cards. From studying the game to team-building exercises with other kids, there are ways to make your classes productive and enriching; even if they take place behind a screen! 
  • Both: By offering both online and in-person sports and athletics, you can reach more students. 

4. Invest in the tools you’ll need for success

Here’s a list of some of the essentials you might need:

  • Balls (soccer, basketball, baseball — what will you be focusing on?)
  • Carrying bags
  • Cones
  • Pumps
  • Floor marking tape
  • Scrimmage vests
  • Whistle (trust us on this one…)
  • Spot markets
  • Mats

5.  Get your multitasking hat on

Launching online or in-person sports and athletic classes for kids requires wearing many hats. It’s kind of like being a player, coach, and manager…all at the same time. But you have what it takes! To get ready, make sure you have skills in the following areas:

  • Teacher: Whether you’ve taught for years or are just beginning, opening your own children’s activity business will involve teaching students. Make sure your certifications are up to date and you have client testimonials that speak to your skills.
  • Business manager: You’ll need to be prepared to work in every department of your business, including accounting, scheduling, communications, and customer service.
  • Technology master: You’ll need to make sure you’re comfortable with using technology to teach classes, including speakers, registration software, and streaming tools. 
  • Role model: You’re about to start nurturing little ones and their love of sports! It’s your job to be a good role model! 

If you feel like you need practice in these areas, you can investigate taking classes on professional development websites like edX and Lynda

6. Get a payment processing and registration system

Once you’ve written a business plan and decided on how and what you’ll teach, you will need a way to collect student registrations and payments. When you’re teaching sports classes, you’ll want your software partner to feel simple and straightforward so parents can discover and book your classes with ease. When you choose to partner with good registration software, you will also benefit from software automations, seamless banking, flexible payment options, and financial reporting to make it easier to analyze where your business is thriving and where more work needs to be done. 

If you’re starting a children’s activity business, Sawyer for Business has everything you need to make registration easy for your team and your customers. See why thousands of businesses love Sawyer for Business and why you will too. 

7. Spend time connecting with your community

Once you have a business plan, location, a team, and powerful registration software, you’ll be ready to start teaching. Our best advice is to connect with your community whenever and however you can. Marketing will naturally grow when you invest in your community. Consider joining local parent Facebook groups, partnering with your local business bureau, offering free trials, and consider hosting free events to get the word out. For example, host a free session in a park or try to parent with a school to reach more families. If you partner with Sawyer, you will gain access to our Marketplace where hundreds of families are waiting to sign up for your classes! Connecting with your community is key to unlocking success for years to come! 

We can’t wait to see how your business grows! To get more information on launching your children’s activity business for kids, connect with a member of our team today

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